New Club Med Openings: Sicily, the Great Wall, and More

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/13/2018, 2:30 PM

Club Med has embarked on an ambitious expansion project. The pioneer in all-inclusive resorts plans to add 15 new properties to its worldwide roster by the end of 2020, opening five resorts per year between now and then. Though you might associate Club Med with sunny spots in the Caribbean, major focuses of the company's latest efforts are Asia and the mountains of Europe. Openings scheduled fo...

Famous Thai Beach Closing to Tourists This Summer

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/14/2018, 10:15 PM

Thailand's Maya Bay is so pretty it played the paradise sought by Leonardo DiCaprio's character in the 2000 movie The Beach.  But tourists will have to stream that film—fair warning: it's terrible—to lay eyes on Maya Bay this summer. Authorities are closing the beach to visitors from June to September in an effort to combat environmental damage caused by over-tourism.  The fame that has resulted...

One U.S. Virgin Islands Resort Stands a Good Chance of Reopening First

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 09/15/2017, 5:15 PM

Back in July, it was announced that a new management company had taken over the unique tented community known as Cinnamon Bay on the gorgeous island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The news was greeted with enthusiasm by the tens of thousands of unpretentious, cost-conscious tourists who, over the years, have used large tents as their beachfront accommodations in St. John.   The new...

New Island on North Carolina Coast

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/29/2017, 4:00 AM

A new island has appeared off the coast of North Carolina—just in time for summer. Formed by powerful currents and storms over the past several months, the massive sandbar has emerged from the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Point on the state's Hatteras Island. (Photo: Instagram / @abcnews)  This newest addition to the Outer Banks has been dubbed Shelly Island—which is appropriate s...

10 Best U.S. Beaches in 2017, According to Dr. Beach

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/30/2017, 4:00 AM

Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida, is the best beach in the United States, according to this year's rankings compiled by sand and surf expert Dr. Beach. The good doctor knows what he's talking about. His real name is Stephen P. Leatherman, and he's the director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University in Miami. He rates beaches according to how soft the sa...

How to View Sea Turtles in Florida—Without Disturbing Them

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/13/2017, 4:00 AM

Spring is the season when sea turtles start showing up on Florida beaches to nest and lay eggs at night—an annual ritual that carries into the fall. Baby turtles hatch after 60 days or so, whereupon they totter adorably to the sea. Much can go wrong: Nesting requires darkness and quiet, and many of the little ones won't be strong enough to make it to the water or they'll get picked off by ...

Three Separate Shark Attacks in Three Hours on Florida Beach

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/20/2016, 4:00 AM

During a three-hour period on Sunday morning, three surfers were attacked by sharks in separate incidents on the same stretch of New Smyrna Beach in Florida. First, a 43-year-old man was bitten on the lower leg. Then, half an hour later, a 36-year-old man was bitten on the hands. Just two hours after that, a 16-year-old boy was bitten on the inner thigh. While the wounds of the first t...

"Game of Thrones" to Film in Northern Spain

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/08/2016, 4:00 AM

A beach near Barrika in Spain's Basque Country (photo: Jesús Ignacio Bravo Soler/Wikimedia Commons) On the one hand, we have a hard time understanding why people would base their travel plans on what they see on Game of Thrones, given that life in Westeros seems pretty horrific all around. On the other hand, some of the landscapes that appear in the HBO fantasy epic are so stunnin...

France's High Court Strikes Down Burkini Ban

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/30/2016, 4:00 AM

As the United States has discovered in its own fight against terrorism, it can be difficult to combat militant extremists while preserving human rights.  The beaches of the French Riviera are the latest front in that struggle. On Friday, France's high court struck down the so-called burkini ban—a restriction on certain types of modest swimwear worn by some Muslim women.  In the wake of...

Italy Fining Beachgoers for Reserving Spots with Towels and Chairs

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/09/2016, 1:15 PM

The Italian coastguard has had it with people leaving towels, chairs, and umbrellas on Italy's beaches overnight in order to save prime spots for the next day.  Along the coast from Tuscany to Sardinia, authorities have begun seizing gear left unattended in the early morning hours and fining those responsible to the tune of 200 euros (about $222), as part of an initiative called Operation ...

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